Gabon has been awarded hosting rights for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. The tournament was initially set to take place in Libya, but security concerns have forced CAF to award hosting rights elsewhere.
Gabon, which co-hosted the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in 2012, was chosen again Wednesday in a vote by the Confederation of African Football's (CAF) executive committee in Cairo.
Gabon was selected over rival bids from Algeria and Ghana. Equatorial Guinea, which shared the African Cup with Gabon in 2012, hosted on its own this year. Neighbor Gabon will now also get the chance to do that in two years.
Borussia Dortmund's Gabon international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang responded quickly on Twitter, thanking his country's president for his efforts in campaigning for the tournament.
Libya was initially meant to host the tournament in 2013, but swapped that event with South Africa to give it more time to prepare. But the North African nation conceded last August that it still wouldn't be able to hold the 16-team event in 2017 because of security concerns, forcing CAF to restart the bidding process.
Egypt was among the contenders for the 31st edition of the tournament in 2017, but withdrew to support Algeria.
Africa Cup of Nations hosting has been problematic for CAF in recent years after Libya first asked for a change in 2013. This year's edition in January and February was initially meant to be in Morocco, but the country's authorities asked for it to be postponed because of fears over the spread of the Ebola virus from West Africa.
al/rd (AP, dpa)